What are the Main Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection? And What are the Different Ways for its Diagnosis?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that can affect different parts of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. There are several ways to test for UTI including dipstick tests, urine cultures, and physical examinations. Among these, the most common method is urine culture. Commonly, UTIs can be treated with an antibiotic depending on the severity of the infection.
A urinary tract infection is mainly caused by microbes. These are tiny organisms that cannot be observed without the help of a microscope. Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria, however, some are caused by fungi and in rare cases, by viruses. The human urinary system consists of kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infection can affect any part of the urinary system. UTIs are more common in women than in men, and they can range in severity from a minor inconvenience to a serious health threat. There are various ways to test for a UTI. The most common method is a urine culture, in which a sample of urine is collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
With the increasing pervasiveness of urinary tract infections among individuals, the global urinary tract infection testing market is expected to witness prominent growth in the approaching years. The market is anticipated to garner $1,027.4 million in revenue and rise at a CAGR of 6.2% throughout the estimated timeframe from 2022 to 2031. The major players of the market include Stryker, Abbott, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Sysmex Corporation, Siemens, and many more.
What are the Various Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?
Symptoms of urinary tract infection depend on the part of the urinary tract that is infected. Lower tract UTIs mainly affect the urethra and bladder. Symptoms of lower tract infection are discussed below:
- Increased frequency of urination without passing much urine
- Increased urgency of urination
- Bloody urine
- Burning with urination
- Pelvic pain in women
- Rectal pain in men
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Symptoms of Upper Tract UTIs
Upper tract UTIs mainly affects the kidneys. These can be more life-threatening if bacteria move from the infected kidney into the blood. This type of condition is also called urosepsis which can cause critically low blood pressure, shock, and even death. Major symptoms of upper tract UTIs are discussed below:
- Pain in the upper back and sides
What are the Various Tests to Diagnose Urinary Tract infections?
There are several ways to test for UTI. Some of the common methods are listed below:
- Urine Culture: In this method, a sample of urine is collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The test can identify the specific type of bacteria causing the infection and help determine the best course of treatment.
- Urinalysis: This test can examine the presence of urine red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in urine can indicate the infection.
- Dipstick Test: It is a method of diagnosing urinary tract infection which can be done in a doctor’s office or at home using a home UTI test kit. A dipstick is a small strip of paper with several different pads or areas on it that can detect the presence of certain substances in the urine. One pad on the dipstick can detect the presence of leukocytes, or white blood cells, which may indicate an infection. Another pad can detect the presence of nitrites, which are produced by certain types of bacteria that can cause UTIs.
- Physical Examination: Sometimes doctors may perform a physical examination and ask about symptoms to help diagnose a UTI.
What is the Treatment for UTIs?
Treatment for a UTI typically involves antibiotics. The specific type of antibiotic and the length of treatment will depend upon the severity of the infection and the type of bacteria causing it. Patients need to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve, to ensure that the infection is fully cleared.
What Prevention People Should Take to Avoid UTI?
To prevent urinary tract infections, it is important for people to drink plenty of fluids, urinate regularly, and practice good hygiene by wiping from front to back after using the toilet. As the rate of occurrence of UTI is more in the case of women, they should take proper care on daily basis. Women should avoid using feminine hygiene products such as sprays and douches that are promoted through various ad channels, without consulting doctors. Because these can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the genital area and increase the rate of UTIs.
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